jZeno 1.0.0 review

by rbytes.net on

jZeno is a meta-project that integrates a collection of java open source libraries, to form a ready-to-use web development environmen

License: LGPL (GNU Lesser General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: Dimitry D'hondt
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jZeno is a meta-project that integrates a collection of java open source libraries, to form a ready-to-use web development environment. jZeno is made to allow people to create web applications by using pure java development as much as possible. The main architectural goal of Largely reducing the need to know technologies like javascript, HTML, CSS, database specific SQL, and tons of different APIs.

Limiting the amount of APIs, technologies and programming styles allows developers to learn a smaller set of skills much deeper. We think this set of skills should be : a thorough understanding of java, OO development and design patterns.

We decided to create jZeno after growing more and more frustrated with JSP and Struts over the years. We hoped JSF would improve things but have come to the conclusion that it is mainly a commercially-driven API that does not really make development life any easier. So we started looking further and came across Echo, a toolkit for developing web applications in pure java. In a nutshell Echo provides you with an implementation of the Swing API for developing web applications. We have created an optimized version of the Echo toolkit to allow partial, and highly compressed updates of web pages, providing AJAX like performance (available in the upcoming 0.9 release).

While Echo provides an easy way of creating the presentation layer of a web application, some glue was still missing to turn it into a rapid development platform. So we decided to add a set of easy to use 'dynamic components', that provide an easy way to do data-binding, validation, event handling and such. Many useful components are also provided by the EchoPoint library, a collection of rich Echo components.

Besides the presentation layer jZeno also provides a number of services for facilitating the creation of business facades. This environment is similar to stateless session beans in the EJB specification, but witout the overhead of EJBs. These services include transaction management, dead-lock detection and retrying, performance monitoring, security checking, etc...

jZeno also uses Hibernate for O/R mapping inside you business facades. Besides these major functions jZeno contains 'out-of-the-box' solutions for a host of other features any real-life web application needs. This inluces things like genrating reports in a pdf,xls,rtf and other formats (through JasperReports). It also includes live performance monitoring (JAMon) and heap monitoring of your application in it's production environment, among other features...

jZeno applications have a traditional layered architecture. The tradidional 3 tiers are seperated : the presentation tier, the business tier and the domain model. The first tier is created by using the jZeno dynamic components and the lower level Echo and EchoPoint components. The business tier contains support for running your business logic, decorated with a stack of aspects that together create an environment very similar to stateless session beans (but with less requirements and configuration overhead). The domain model tier is basically the O/R mapping provided by Hibernate. jZeno provides a tightly integrated environment for all these tiers. In the future support for deploying on an EJB container may be added if required.

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